Picturesque locations along with best, safe and economical shooting venues for big and small screen productions have helped North Central Railway (NCR) earn extra revenue for the railways.
Apart from Hollywood movies, Indian and foreign web series to Hindi, Tamil and Telugu films as well as TV serials are being shot at railway stations, train coaches, locomotives and other railway locations under NCR which has helped it earn ₹29.31 lakh last financial year from such shootings.
Even in 2018-19 before the pandemic, NCR had earned around ₹7.78 lakh from shootings at its locations. It is a clear indication that Hollywood and Bollywood are both increasingly preferring railways for their creative productions, said NCR officials.
The shooting of the French feature film “The Braid”, which took place in NCR, is among the most notable.
French producer of the film liked the location of Chunar railway station and nearby areas so much that she booked a train of five coaches from Prayagraj division of NCR and shot the movie in March 2022.
After this, the film unit proceeded to locations in Italy and Canada to shoot the rest of the film. NCR earned over ₹13.40 lakh as charges for the special train and over ₹1.29 lakh as license fee from the production.
Apart from this, the web series “Bouncer” was also shot at Fatehabad station and at the Yamuna Bridge Goods yard in December 2021. The NCR received around ₹5.64 lakh as special train charge and another over ₹1.23 lakh as license fee.
The shooting of Telugu film ‘Ahinsa’ at Chhatarpur station in November 2021 further earned NCR over ₹5.59 lakh in special train charge and over ₹1.82 lakh as license fee.
There was a lot of shooting of TV serial “Mithai” at Govardhan, Mathura in February 2022. The fee for the shooting of the serial amounting to ₹29,500 added to the earnings further.
“There are many beautiful locations under North Central Railway where film and TV serial shootings can be done. We are moving in this direction and encouraging filmmakers to shoot. We are also in touch with other zonal railways like Central Railway, Western Railway and Southern Railway etc where film shootings happen more frequently,” said Shivam Sharma, chief public relations officer (CPRO) of NCR.
He said single window system has been adopted by NCR for the benefit of the film and serious production houses.
The producer concerned has to submit his/her proposal to the CPRO office. Shooting is allowed after ensuring all necessary clearances such as security clearance, operational feasibility report, availability of rolling stock, required documents and depositing of the safety deposit and the requisite license fee.
“We also tie up with local police too for ensuring safety. The script is thoroughly evaluated to ensure that it does not give any misleading information to public or projects Railways in a bad light. Operational feasibility is important. Shooting permission is given only after ensuring that regular train operation is not affected,” he added.